The North Sydney Bears are fighting for their NSWISP lives this Saturday when they take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at North Sydney Oval at 3pm.
The Bulldogs sit in eighth position on 25 points, with the Bears two spots further back on the ladder on 24 points.
The Panthers sit between these two sides in ninth spot on the same 24 points as the Bears, and they take on the more-fancied Warriors this weekend who sit in fifth place.
Interestingly, the Wentworthville Magpies sit in seventh spot on the ladder, two points ahead of North Sydney, however they have an inferior for-and-against to the Bears, meaning they are also in the Bears’ sights. Wenty play Mounties who are destined to finish as minor premiers, six points clear at the top of the table.
Should the Bears take home the two competition points on Saturday, they will leapfrog the Bulldogs meaning they can finish no lower than ninth spot. If the Bears don’t win, they are out of finals contention.
Assuming the Bears pick up the two competition points and move to 26 points on the ladder, and should Penrith lose to the higher placed Warriors on Sunday, the Bears will qualify for the finals in no lower than eighth spot.
If the Bears collect the two competition points, and both the Panthers and Magpies lose to their more fancies rivals, the Bears could finish as high as seventh position going into the finals.
The bottom line is that Ben Gardiner’s men in red and black must win against the Bulldogs to remain a hope of playing finals in 2016, but Andy Patmore’s Bulldogs will be equally as keen to secure the two points and a finals berth.
The Bears and Bulldogs have played only once this year. It was in round eight at ANZ Stadium when the Bears snuck home by a point, 17 points to 16, and another tight game is expected this Saturday.
The Rabbitohs and Bears encourage all Members and supporters to make their way to North Sydney Oval on Saturday to cheer on the Bears as they fight for their competition lives.